“Eco Terms” Defined

What in the Green World Does That Mean???

Definition of terms that are used throughout this blog.

Ancient Forest- A forest that is older than 200 years with large trees and a developed canopy. This forest has the ability to sustain a wide variety of wildlife.

Biodegradable– waste material composed of naturally-occurring materials, able to be broken down and absorbed into the ecosystem. Plastic in not biodegradable, paper is.

Biogas– A gas fuel sourced from the decomposition of waste, converting a waste stream and potent greenhouse gases into an energy source.
Carbon Credit- a unit to measure the greenhouse gas emission reduction at an industrial level. Large companies can buy carbon credits to offset the carbon footprint of the company’s production of carbon dioxide. The carbon credits are then used to fund carbon footprint reduction processes around the world.

Carbon Footprint- the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a product or service. Normally a carbon footprint is usually expressed as a CO2 equivalent (usually in kilograms or tons)

Ecological Footprint- is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. It compares human demand with planet Earth’s ecological capacity to regenerate. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate the resources a human population consumes.
Greenhouse Effect– the way some gases in the atmosphere (such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane) trap some of the light energy from the sun after it is reflected from the Earth’s surface, and  before it can escape out into space, so warming our atmosphere. -without it the Earth would be about 33°C colder, however–At present, over 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted globally each year by burning fossil fuels, and another seven billion tonnes by changes of land use, mainly deforestation.

Heat Island Effect- is when urban areas are hotter than nearby rural areas. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings.
Kyoto Protocol- is an agreement with over 170 different foreign countries to put restrictions on the maximum allowable amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted in a given year. A business is given a certain amount of credits, with each credit equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide. Companies that have not used up their allotted number of carbon credits can sell their credits to companies that need more.
Phantom Energy- Also called Vampire power, this energy is taken from the grid when an appliance is plugged in but not being used. Think printers, cell phone chargers, TVs and computers. One easy way to stop this is by using a smart power strip, which cuts off energy with the flip of one switch.
Renewable Energy– Energy that is generated from regenerative resources; or energy that cannot be exhausted, such as wind, water and sunlight.


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